More than a dozen Republicans have been steadfastly blocking Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California from securing enough votes to become speaker of the House of Representatives, but former President Donald Trump has called upon GOP lawmakers to back McCarthy’s bid.
“Some really good conversations took place last night, and it’s now time for all of our GREAT Republican House Members to VOTE FOR KEVIN, CLOSE THE DEAL, TAKE THE VICTORY, […] REPUBLICANS, DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT. IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT. Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB – JUST WATCH!” Trump declared in a Truth Social post.
Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, one of the Republicans who has been opposing McCarthy’s bid for speaker, described Trump’s support for McCarthy as a bad decision.
“Supporting McCarthy is the worst Human Resources decision President Trump has ever made. Sad!” Gaetz tweeted.
— Matt Gaetz (@Matt Gaetz)
So far, in six separate votes, including three on Tuesday and three more on Wednesday, McCarthy has failed to secure enough support to clinch the speakership. During the first two votes on Tuesday, 19 Republicans did not support McCarthy.
Then from the third vote on, Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, who had voted for McCarthy the first two times, started voting against McCarthy, bringing the total to 20 GOP votes against McCarthy. During the three votes on Wednesday, the 20 Republicans voted for Donalds. Democrats have been backing Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York.
Rep. Lauren Boebert, another Republican who has been voting against McCarthy, suggested during remarks on Wednesday that Trump should call on McCarthy to bow out of the race — she said that Trump should tell McCarthy, “You do not have the votes and it’s time to withdraw.”
“I have always supported Byron Donalds, have consistently Endorsed him for Congress and, in fact, feel that I was a primary reason he entered politics in the first place. He is a young man with a great future! With that all being said, the story and statement that was just put out that I endorsed Byron for Speaker of the House is Fake and Fraudulent. He will have his day, and it will be a big one, but not now!” Trump said in a Truth Social post on Wednesday.